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Splenic Torsion in an Alpaca

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Objective

To describe the clinical signs, diagnostic evaluation and surgical management of an alpaca with splenic torsion. Animals

Six-year-old female alpaca. Results

Splenic torsion and uterine torsion were the inciting cause for persistent abdominal discomfort in this alpaca. Rectal examination, abdominocentesis, and transabdominal ultrasonographic findings were suggestive of a splenic lesion. Surgical management involved splenectomy of a necrotized spleen. Conclusions

Although rare in occurrence, splenic torsion should be considered as a potential cause of abdominal discomfort in alpacas. Splenectomy is a reasonable and successful method of treatment for a devitalized spleen secondary to splenic torsion in alpacas. Clinical Relevance

Splenic torsion causes persistent abdominal discomfort in camelids and may be associated with uterine torsion. Rectal examination, transabdominal ultrasound and abdominocentesis are useful diagnostic tools to differentiate splenic torsion from other causes of abdominal discomfort. Splenectomy is an uncomplicated procedure in camelids and has a favorable prognosis.
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Keywords: alpaca; camelid; splenectomy; splenic torsion; uterine torsion

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Department of Clinical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, New Bolton Center, Kennett Square, PA.

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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